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Meyer W. Weisgal, “new Palestine” Editor, Replies to Agudath Israel Leader

February 18, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Communication to the Editor)


In his letter to you, which appeared in your issue of Tuesday, February 16th, Rabbi Leo Jung thinks that he settles all the questions raised in editorials appearing in “The New Palestine” by categorically denying their truth.

He does not seem to understand that even granting a few of the minor details, which he controverts merely by assertion, he does not meet the fundamental charge brought against the Agudath Israel. The fundamental charge is that the Agudath Israel, ever since the issuing of the Bal-four Declaration, instead of working in cooperation with the Zionist Organization for the upbuilding of Palestine, has been engaged in a systematic and perisistent effort to divide the interests of the Jewish people. It has made separate representations to the League of Nations, to the Palestine Government and to the Colonial Office in London.

It has even carried on a propaganda among newspapers, with a view to pointing out to the non-Jewish world that the Jewish people are divided into two groups; one, the genuine orthodox group represented by the Agudath Israel, and the other, the non-orthodox, non-religious group represented by the Zionist Organization. Such representations have been made almost wantonly with the American Consulate at Vienna only recently. It has appeared as being a consistent policy of the Agudath Israel that it is engaged in a systematic mesirah against all factors engaged in establishing the Jewish National Home.

Rabbi Jung thinks that by the insertion of a mention of Palestine in the program of the Kattowitz Conference, he controverts the allegation that Palestine was not included in the program of the Agudath Israel. It is a fact that until very recently the Agudath Israel was primarily interested in strengthening its position in the Galuth, and only when it saw an opportunity to attack the Zionist movement it became interested, in a very small way, in Palestine. The point is, however, that all of its interest in Palestine has been devised in order to challenge the right of the Zionist Organization to speak and act for the Jewish people in the matter of Palestine.

Rabbi Jung denies that the Agudath Israel seeks non-Jewish courts for the satisfaction of its claims. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, as well as other Jewish news agencies, has printed any number of news letters from which it appears clearly that the Agudath Israel is not satisfied with the jurisdiction of Jewish courts, but takes refuge, at all times, to non-Jewish tribunals in order to settle its claims against the Zionist Organization. Such a dispatch was printed in the “Jewish Daily Bulletin” only a few days ago. It illuminates the situation to remember that Rabbi Jung, himself, not so long ago referred to the Agudah representative in Palestine as the “sainted dellaan.” It was this “deHaan” representative of the Agudath Israel who, with malevolent persistence, constantly involved the Jewish community in Palestine in non-Jewish relations for the settlement of questions raised by his fertile brain.

Rabbi Jung ingeniously suggests that the Agudath Harabonim did not endorse the United Palestine Appeal. We refer Rabbi Jung to the resolution adopted by the Agudath Harabonim, in which Dr. Wise was condemned. In this resolution, which appeared in full in the “Jewish Daily News,” the Agudath Harabonim stated clearly that because it regards the funds, for which the United Palestine Campaign appealed, as “important and holy,” it intervened in the matter of Dr. Wise. Further, it is a fact that the leading personalities in the Agudath Harabonim, the members of the Praesidium, including the Chairman, are members and leaders of the Mizrachi Zionist Organization.

Rabbi Jung says that Dr. Weizmann was unwilling to make any promise in the matter of the Community Ordinance. The fact is that for months past, representatives of the Agudath Israel have been considering, with the Zionist Executive, certain compromise suggestions that have emanated from Dr. Weizmann, calculated to bring about a peaceful cooperation with the Agudath Israel. The Zionist Executive has been most anxious to avoid the Hillel Hashem in Agudath Israel representations in non-Jewish tribunals, and to that end has been willing to make any sort of compromise that would not break the unity of representation in Palestine.

The “New Palestine” is engaged in defending the interests of the Zionist Organization. It is interested solely in the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home. It is not wedded to any partisan program, and if it were shown that the Agudath Israel were genuinely interested in the upbuilding of Palestine, together with the whole of the Jewish people, without a desire to destroy other groups and without seeking to impose, by arbitrary means, its views upon the majority of Jews, it would gladly welcome the support of the Agudath Israel. But the record of the Agudath Israel in ali Jewish matters is tainted with duplicity, with arrogance, and with a lamentable lack of understanding of the principle of Jewish unity.


Managing Editor, “The New Palestine.”

New York, Feb. 17, 1926.

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